SEXUALLY ABUSED CHILDREN—THEIR STRUGGLES AS ADULTS
By Dr. Rosie Milligan
Cherry Marie, a Los Angeles-based health advocate and author, pens memoir, A Child’s Journey Through Sexual Abuse: A Journey of Healing Through Confronting and Exposing Sexual Abuse from Childhood to Adulthood.Today, living in the United States, there are 39 million adults who have survived child sexual abuse, and 3 million American children are victims. Most of them are children, struggling alone, believing there is no adult who can help them. Can you imagine the pain and shame a child feels when his or her innocence is taken, and the perpetrator, in many cases, is someone the child loves, trusts, and expects to protect them?
Television talk shows stimulated national discussion on sexual abuse as they interviewed adult males and females who were struggling mentally and emotionally as adults due to being a victim of child molestation. The question becomes, why didn’t the child tell somebody? The fact is, until society fully embraces being comfortable talking and teaching about sex issues in the same manner that they teach about keeping the doors locked, not talking to strangers, washing your hands before you eat and after using the toilet, etc., then children will continue to be victims of child sexual abuse.
There is an old adage, “When the horse is stolen from the barn the fool locks the barn’s door.” In today’s society, when the child’s innocence has been taken, their parents tell them things such as: no one should touch your body in certain places, and if someone does do that, do not be afraid to tell a parent. If most adults are afraid to report rape because of the fear of disbelief, just think what a molestation experience must be like for a child!
Cherry Marie’s life is a testament that healing as an adult from incest is possible. Cherry makes herself transparent so that she may help others to heal from sexual abuse too. She states, “I have no right not to forgive, and neither do you.” You will learn that as difficult as it may be to forgive the perpetrator, forgiveness is the key ingredient in the healing process. Remember, it’s not your fault. You did not invite someone in to sexually abuse you.
Sex is a weapon of mass destruction. Sex abuse has destroyed the lives of many adults and children. The perpetrator, as well as the sexually abused victim, is in need of healing. In many cases, the perpetrator has experienced sexual abuse him/herself. Therefore, sex education and sex talks for our children are very important. Our children deserve to be protected; they are our most valuable assets. Sex education is everybody’s business and reading and sharing A Child’s Journey Through Sexual Abuse can help to stimulate a healthy family discussion around sexual lessons and issues. Let’s teach and protect our children from this dreadful, devastating experience—incest, molestation, and rape.
Dr. Rosie Milligan, Minister, Counselor, Author, Talk-Show Host, Estate Planner, and Owner of Professional Business Management/Consulting Services, 1425 W. Manchester Ave. Ste. B, Los Angeles, Calif. 323-750-3592; e-mail: ;